Ubuntu 21.04 is scheduled for release on April 22, 2021. It will be the newest stable release of Ubuntu, replacing Ubuntu 20.10, released last October.
As the development of Ubuntu 21.04 nears completion, we have a good idea of what to expect from the release, which the Ubuntu developers have dubbed “Hirsute Hippo”. (Hairy Hippo)
In this post, I will briefly tell you everything I know about the future release, from the release date and the duration of its support to what new features and major changes it is likely to bring us.
In addition, I will leave a link to download the latest daily builds of Ubuntu 21.04, so that you, if you wish, can try out the release before its final release in the spring.
Ubuntu 21.04 ‘Hirsute Hippo’
The code name of Ubuntu21. 04 is “Hirsute Hippo”. There’s not much subtext that we can glean from the code name, but such a bright and original combination of adjective and animal ensures that the mascot image and the new wallpaper will become iconic!
This is a release with short-term support. Ubuntu 21.04 will be supported for 9 months with current bug fixes, patches, and new app releases. Support will stop in January 2022, by which time you will need to upgrade to Ubuntu 21.10.
Fans of the facts may be interested to know that 21.04 is the 24th release of Ubuntu overall, as well as the third version named after an animal starting with the letter “H”, and can you name the other two? Reply in the comments, guys! 😊
Ubuntu 21.04: release dates
The release date of Ubuntu 21.04 is April 22, 2021. This date is listed on Launchpad, the Ubuntu development site, along with the dates of other key development milestones.
Summary of the Hirsute Hippo release schedule:
- End of feature development: February 25, 2021
- End of user interface development: March 18, 2021
- Ubuntu 21.04 Beta Release: April 1, 2021
- End of Core development: April 8, 2021
- Maximum release readiness: April 15, 2021
These dates are (as always) subject to change.
Ubuntu 21.04: New features
Most likely, you came here to learn about the new features of Ubuntu 21.04, but I’ll start by listing a few things that you definitely WON’T find in this release.
First of all: Ubuntu 21.04 will NOT include GNOME 40. While new Ubuntu releases usually include the newest release of GNOME, this time it won’t. GNOME 40 has made some significant design changes, and Ubuntu developers believe they need more time to “adapt” to the changes.
Secondly, Ubuntu 21.04 won’t have GTK4 either, at least not by default. GTK3 will remain king. This is not surprising, as not many applications currently use GTK4 (at the time of writing), and most of the GNOME stack has yet to be ported.
However, this is not all the news.
Updated versions of many pre-installed applications are available in 21.04, including new releases of the GNOME Image Viewer, the “Characters” application, Disk Usage Analyzer, GVFS, etc.
Unfortunately, Nautilus (file manager),Calendar andThe terminal remains in the corresponding GNOME 3.38.x releases – at least for now!
If you really want to try GNOME 40 on Ubuntu 21.04, it’s best to wait for it to appear in the PPA package. Which is highly likely, as it will give Ubuntu developers the opportunity to test the upstream changes in place ahead of the next Ubuntu release – Ubuntu 21.10.
We will (naturally) let you know when such a GNOME 40 PPA is available, so stay tuned.
A modest collection of changes
As we recently discussed, Ubuntu 21.04 makes the home folder private by default. This long overdue change ensures that new Ubuntu installations are as safe and secure as possible for users, and unencrypted home folders are no longer “read-only”.
Ubuntu developers have announced that Ubuntu 21.04 will use Wayland by default to allow for more extensive testing before the next LTS.
It was also decided that the GNOME Shell in Hirsute will use a dark theme by default, although applications will still support a” mixed ” GTK theme consisting of light widgets and dark title bars.
These and other expected changes in Ubuntu 21.04:
- Wayland as a default session
- Private Home Folder
- Linux Kernel 5.11
- Default Dark theme
- LibreOffice 7.1
- Python 3.9 by default
- ZFS Improvements
- New Wallpaper
We regularly update this post as new features become available and other changes are made. If there’s a change we missed, let us know!
The release of Hirsute could be the perfect moment to fix long-standing problems in Ubuntu. For example, the Desktop Icons extension lacks such an important feature as drag and drop. And although there is a great third-party extension, I would like to see the developers of Ubuntu also focus their efforts on something in this spirit. And, developing the theme of desktop icons, I am annoyed by the lack of animation/transition when going to the “Activities Overview” or the app grid, and the icons on the desktop periodically blink or go out. It looks pretty old-fashioned.
What changes or improvements would you make in the next release of Ubuntu?
Download Ubuntu 21.04
You can download Ubuntu 21.04 right now, but only as an unstable daily build. Ubuntu’s daily builds don’t have to be final, stable, honed, or complete. They give you an easy way to check out (and help with testing) upcoming releases, but they shouldn’t be used as your primary OS.